All Forums > The Fundamental Design Flaw in 3.0
6/21/2013 5:00 PM
I want to step back for a moment, and get away from such things as "fatigue isn't working properly" or "interception rates are too high (low)" or "my 68 STR OL should be pushing a 58 STR DL all over the place".  I think the problem with this engine lies more in a fundamental design flaw, and so I want to focus on the higher level picture of "how do you simulate a football game?"

I'm sure there are a dozen different ways you could calculate which team wins and loses a game, based on any number of factors.  This game has always taken the approach that a football contest is comprised of a series of (mostly) unrelated plays (meaning the results of one play are not factored in any way into the results of the next play - with the exception of player fatigue and possible injury  Down and distance factor into which play is called, but the fact that a run up the middle has been stuffed 8 times in a row is not taken into consideration). At its most fundamental layer then, the engine, then is a simulation of a football play (with a meta-engine that ties all the plays together).  In simulating a single football play, there are two basic ways to do it:

1) Generate the results of a play based on a play chart (Inside Run Results) using a random number generation that is modified by whatever factors you input as relative to the results (+ for OL STR/BLK, - for DL STR/TKL, for example).   This is, in essence, how board games like APBA work.  A game like Strat-O-Matic takes this same approach, in essence, although the mechanics of  how the modifiers are applied are built in to the "charts" (player cards) themselves.

2) Generate the results of each play by modeling the behavior of the participants during the execution of the play.  Long-winded way of saying keep track of where every player is, and what they are doing, at successive "check points" during the play.  This is obviously much more complicated, and should require many more decisions to be made for each player's actions at each checkpoint. At a certain level, one would think this was the most "realistic" way of generating the results, because it models what occurs on a "real" play.

GD takes this approach - sort of.  (It's what I believe to be the approach anyway, based on information presented back when the developer actually took any time to communicate with the testing base.)   The GD approach, as I understand it, is to model the behavior, not of all players, but of relevant portions of players. As in, a WR blocking a DB isn't really factored into a running play -- although at some point in that play, a DB may be called upon to make a tackle, and so they then mysteriously appear.

The design flaw, I believe, is the "half-way" approach to modeling a play.  Every player is not modeled, so you don't KNOW where every player is at any point of the play.  You don't model "does this player recognize that it's a play-action fake?" for every defensive player on the field and have them react accordingly.  And so you get an incomplete model of the play - which still relies on a large number of decision points, thereby complicating the process of getting your results.

As much as I would love to see an improved version of this game published soon, I have come to the belief that it's time to scrap what has been done so far, and re-evaluate your design.  There's nothing wrong with the first approach - it's been done successfully by APBA and SOM for years.  And there's nothing wrong with the second approach, providing you want to put in the effort (and have the computing power) to effectively model the physical and mental activities of all 22 players on the field.

Figure out how you want to simulate a play.  Get that working right.  Then build on that as to how you simulate a drive (plays called, substitutions due to injury, fatigue, etc.).  And THEN you have a working game.

It wouldn't hurt to talk to us once in a while, either.

6/21/2013 5:28 PM
I have not been abuel to play the BETA but I read all of the imfo being put out about it and from what I gather.  The play will not really be any better than 2.0 and if it is, not by much. I would think that a CO. like WIS would want to put out the best possibule game play that they could. Even going to great lengths to beat out any competition and I am not seeing it at all.

What I see is a lousy try at peasing customers. Not giving them what they should get for a great simulated game play. Just enough to keep them hanging in there with out really trying.

6/21/2013 8:43 PM
VERY GOOD ANALYSIS BOB!

I feel that the approach used by Norbert to set up this 3.0 version of the game is the correct one. However, I feel that the error was indeed early on in the beta. Not enough time was given to truly evaluate the effects of player ratings and the influence on different aspects of the game. Before we really had a handle on how to plan the game (besides taking out the obvious bugs) he was already tinkering on damping down the run, pumping up the passing, nuetering the DB's and so on. I feel the original beta release was too random in its distribution of player match-ups.

His current step approach allows for players to take advantage of various attributes at different  steps, adding some depth to the talent of a player. The problem was we didn't get any info on what was really important to each position or how it was being used so we could evaluate them. I also feel that with small adjustments to the first game (decrease effect of RB strength, increase WR elus effect, etc for all positons) the game could have been fine tuned and advance from there. Now too many other decision points have been added and the attribute ratings/match-up decisions are still wrong.

By simplifying the attributes used and their effects, eliminating the secondary effects of other modifiers (tech, athl, IQ etc) until the main modifiers are addressed, determining how many steps are needed for a play to be significant, and then achieving outcomes that are consistent should be the first step.
6/22/2013 7:34 AM
VERY GOOD ANALYSIS BOB!
+1
6/22/2013 11:53 AM
Bob - you are on the council, correct?  Then you should revisit my post "A proposal from a modeling backgound".  The current model is set up *** backwards to get realistic results and be able to explain how you get the results.  norbert, insisted his "buckets" were better than starting from a distribution and this is the result.
6/22/2013 1:41 PM
I had to go way back - your original post was from March 2012 - but I found it.  It's fundamentally what's described in option 1 in my original post in this thread, albeit much more fleshed out in terms of the statistical model used to generate the results.

I bumped the thread, in the (possibly vain) hope that someone at WIS is willing to take a step back and look at the whole picture..
6/23/2013 11:04 AM
Posted by bhazlewood on 6/22/2013 1:41:00 PM (view original):
I had to go way back - your original post was from March 2012 - but I found it.  It's fundamentally what's described in option 1 in my original post in this thread, albeit much more fleshed out in terms of the statistical model used to generate the results.

I bumped the thread, in the (possibly vain) hope that someone at WIS is willing to take a step back and look at the whole picture..
Good luck with that!
6/25/2013 10:42 AM
Bob,
Thanks for the input. Having taken over this game I agree that the model needs to be revisited. I've taken it upon myself to separate the model of the game from the controls. Separating how the relationships occur from the actual values used to add importance. This has been a tedious task and one that will not get any publicity, but one that I think is essential for evaluating how the current engine runs and allowing us to make changes by editing the interactions of the players and not just by fudging the numbers till it looks correct. I would also put GD in a place between your two examples. The engine operates highly on categorized input (playing cards if you will) similar to approach number one, but the latest iteration tries to add variety and color to that process by creating the play by play analysis. In the end, the results would be somewhat similar to the approach from one, but have the added dimension of immersion into a game that comes from part 2. Unfortunately, this has added to some of the side effects that you describe, with the players coming out of nowhere to get a tackle based on the probabilities of what should be done. I believe the approach is slightly flawed, but ultimately mostly rewarding.

Like I said, I'm tasking myself with creating a more deterministic approach inside the engine to allow for the tweaks and bells and whistles. I've been focusing on this and not adding much time to the user circles. I'll be working on getting more engaged with you guys as this goes.  You obviously have fantastic analysis and input, and if version 3.0 is going to be a success then all of this stuff that you are adding is very important.

I'm trying to get deep into the engine and come up with ideas for the interface and keep in touch with the community. This is an overwhelming task, for all of us I'm sure. I understand that some of you are losing faith, but bear with me here, and I think you will like some of the upcoming changes in GD. GD is one of the staples of WIS and I think with some hard work can be an even more enjoyable experience. It's certainly has the attention of the company, and we are looking to take it to the next level.

6/25/2013 10:22 PM
oriole_fan I know you have alot on your plate and recruiting wasn't going to be addressed with this update, but I think it could use some work too. The main problem is with SIM recruiting, but recruiting as a whole could use some work. It seems it is taking way to much money to knock off a SIM lately and think there should be a way to regulate their cash flow too. I mean I shouldn't lose to a SIM that has 7 recruits when I have 15 just for an example. In human vs human recruiting I think that you shouldn't lose a recruit just before the signing cycle that you have had green from the beginning just because a guy has an extra 10k lying around LOL. I think there can be a way to make your hold on that recruit stronger with every cycle they are green to you. In real life you don't hear a recruit changing his mind at the last minute. Especially if he wasn't even considering that team. I'm looking forward to the next update and I'm a steak man anyways LOL
6/25/2013 10:31 PM
Leave sim recruiting alone. When the worlds are full there is no such thing. I have been around since the worlds were full. They will be again. Work on the engine. Please please please
6/25/2013 10:43 PM
"I'm trying to get deep into the engine and come up with ideas for the interface and keep in touch with the community. This is an overwhelming task, for all of us I'm sure. I understand that some of you are losing faith, but bear with me here, and I think you will like some of the upcoming changes in GD. GD is one of the staples of WIS and I think with some hard work can be an even more enjoyable experience. It's certainly has the attention of the company, and we are looking to take it to the next level. "

Believe me when I tell you oriole_fan, not all have lost faith and the majority appreciate all of the hard work you're putting into the game. Touching base with us like this just helps to remind everyone that you're still hard at it, and that WIS still considers GD important...Thank you!

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7/2/2013 1:42 PM
At this point, I really think the best idea is to dust off the old GD 1.0 code and replace the GD 2.0 with it. Then figure out a way to *tweak* the variability of the running game. Then call it a day.
7/2/2013 11:01 PM
The GD 1.0 code was written in a language no longer servicable in the newer internet. It's dead and not coming back.
7/3/2013 10:26 AM
The real problem, as evident by the posts, is that there are two contingents of GD players who want different games.

In one, the player who was a better recruiter and game planner would win 100% of the time unless playing a similarly talented team and derailed by a very small number of random events - penalties, interceptions, etc.  In the other, a player whose team is not as talented and does not game plan effectively still has an opportunity to win because of random, artificially introduced factors intended to level the playing field.  No one game can be both.
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All Forums > The Fundamental Design Flaw in 3.0

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